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O, Canada! A Celebration of Canadian Books: "Rink of Dreams"

Blogger Around the children's book corner of the blogosphere, you'll find many posts on books from Canada. Organized by Colleen Mondor, the "One Shot World Tour" roster of participating blogs can be found later today at her blog, Chasing Ray.

Canada's national sport figures prominently in Rink of Dreams, a novel by Nancy L.M. Russell (Key Porter Books, 2005). It's the first year on an elite hockey team for Gary MacDonald, an eighth grader who must contend with not only a bullying teammate but also his parents' separation.  Luckily for Gary, a minor league hockey team moves to his town on Prince Edward Island, and his family befriends a rising superstar from Russia. Wallace touches on a lot of subjects—unnecessary violence in sports, steroid use, the loss of Canadian hockey teams to the U.S., the Russian mob—to keep her readers' attention, but the primary action lies in the evolving relationships between the main characters. As Gary contends with the many events of a pivotal year, he grows up emotionally. 11- to 14-year-old sports enthusiasts who favor books with plenty of plot constitute ideal audience for Rink of Dreams.

Comments

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Yay! Glad someone is doing hockey today -- I have many, MANY Canadian friends for whom it is the end all be all of everything. And I like how the title echoes 'Field of Dreams,' bringing to mind the American 'National Pastime.'

I was ready to go to a hockey game when I finished this one, TadMack! There's a minor league team nearby, and I just may have to go see them play.

This does sound like a good one. Even though I'm not a huge sports fan, I always admire authors who can interweave sports into their novels (e.g., Chris Crutcher).

A. Fortis, I like sports well enough, but don't read many sports books, so it was fun to pick up this kids' title with a distinctly Canadian setting and feel.

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